Amanda Thurston Isn’t Afraid to Make Fashion Mistakes

by Charles Manning

A new generation of tastemakers in Palm Beach is truly doing it all. Business owners, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, style mavens, and mothers—these six women are making strides in fields like real estate, tech, and media. Their passions and careers are as diverse as their personal style ethos, yet they all use fashion as a form of self-expression. Forget that outdated perception of Palm Beach style as strictly bright florals, pearls, and beach attire! Now, the fashion M.O. is less boardwalk, more catwalk. This new chic guard epitomizes modern Palm Beach style, whether in a meeting, on a flight, or at school drop-off—and, of course, at the Esplanade Palm Beach, the haute one-stop destination anchoring Worth Avenue for superb shopping, dining, and more, with luxury powerhouses like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Akris, Pucci, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue, all just steps from the ocean. Ahead, meet the next wave of Palm Beach notables redefining the social and style scenes.

Meet Amanda Thurston, an agency services leader at IBM who splits her time between New York City and Palm Beach.

How do you define Palm Beach style?
At its best, I think Palm Beach style is effortlessly sophisticated. We also live in New York, and the distinct difference is the seriousness with which New Yorkers take, well, everything. Palm Beach can be beachy, or chic, or sporty depending on how you’re taking advantage of your day in the sun.

How aligned is Palm Beach style with your personal aesthetic?
The virtue of Palm Beach style is that it’s inherently eclectic. We have folks from all over the country and the world, frankly, so you get a variety of personal styles. My aesthetic is, likewise, eclectic. Even my home is mid-century modern meets monograms. I grew up in New York City and lived in Greenwich Village for nearly a decade. I’m also an equestrian who went to prep school in Connecticut. I’m just as likely to wear a collared neckline as I am a pair of high-top sneakers. There’s really something for everyone here.

What essentials should every Palm Beach woman have in her closet?
I am deeply concerned about sun safety, so a straw hat. Restorative moisturizer and nontoxic SPF—I swear by Tammy Fender in West Palm. And kaftans!

Who are some of your favorite designers?
Apiece Apart, Cult Gaia, Hermès, Mara Hoffman, Zimmermann, Frame, Marysia.

What do you look for when shopping for a bag?
Practicality, to be honest. I’m tall, so I like something big. I travel more than 100,000 miles a year for my consulting job, and I need bags that can fit a laptop, a reusable water bottle, and at least a book or two. I think the catch-all quality of a tote is so desirable.

What was the first luxury piece you ever bought?
Louboutins! I was working for DVF’s corporate team in NYC and found a pair of white patent and rattan slingbacks that I just absolutely had to have. They are way bolder than my professional style now permits and I haven’t worn them in more than a decade, but they grace my closet to this day.

Who is your favorite person to go shopping with?
My husband, Matt Andrews, though please don’t tell him I said so. He’s a financial adviser, and I think that wise decision-making trickles over to all investment decisions. He’s always honest with me about how things look but will also push me outside of my comfort zone on occasion. I definitely don’t dress for my spouse, but I do deeply appreciate his input.

Who is the quintessential Palm Beach fashionista?
Aerin Lauder. Is that cliché? If so, I’m okay with that.

What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
Even a broken clock is right twice a day! Wear what you’re comfortable in and don’t obsess over trends; the look you love for yourself will be appreciated and, almost certainly, overlap with the runways at some point in time. Fast fashion is a trap, not to mention being abysmal for the environment, so invest in the pieces that you know you’ll have for a long time and they’ll be worth every dollar.

What do you love the most about Palm Beach?
Everything is at your fingertips. I love that within 30 minutes I can be out in Wellington on my horse, but we also have the best beaches, restaurants, art galleries, shopping, and amenities at our convenience. I walk so much here; it really is a mini city life.

Where is your favorite place in Palm Beach to get dressed up?
I love meeting friends at Imoto, or date night at the Palm Beach Grill. I also adore a house party.

What do you love about shopping in a store versus online?
I’m a marketing exec who creates digital experiences for chief marketing officers for a living, but fashion is tactile. Watch a woman really shop a store; the best fabrics will beg you to touch them. Fabrics are living and breathing organisms, and I think seeing them in person and understanding how they feel on your body is such an important part of the shopping process.

Amanda’s Must-Haves!

1.  Emilio Pucci Vahine Print Silk Maxi Dress, $3,855

2. Gucci Jordaan Embroidered Leather Loafers, $890

3. Louis Vuitton Belted Shirtdress With Printed Collar, $1,600

4. Akris Stretch Cotton Poplin Blouse, $795

5. Emilio Pucci Floral Embroidered Silk Kaftan Dress, $5,740

6. Gucci Bamboo Shopper Leather Mini Bag $1,350

7. Akris Silk Crepe de Chine Maxi Dress in Square Stripe Print, $1,590

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